I’m sick of Piers Morgan

This leftie with learning difficulties has felt called upon to comment on the Charleston massacre. Though by itself this is unobjectionable, the nature of Mr Morgan’s comment confirms both his political and intellectual credentials.

The rhetorical device he chose is called anaphora, the deliberate repetition of a phrase at the beginning of successive sentences or paragraphs.

This trick has stood various orators (or demagogues, depending on how one sees them) in good stead, from Churchill with his “We shall fight them…” to Martin Luther King with his “I have a dream…” to Hillary Clinton, who once repeated “it takes…” six times in one sentence – and then started the next one with “It takes…” as well.

Following such illustrious role models, Mr Morgan wrote an article of 26 short paragraphs, each beginning ad nauseam with the phrase “I’m sick…”. (A piece of avuncular advice, Piers, if I may: the phrase isn’t ad nausea, as you seem to think, but ad nauseam – sic. It’s the Latin for till you wanna puke, mate.)

What brought on Piers’s serial bouts of emesis isn’t the gall of the British police who dare investigate editors for phone hacking, and nor is it the rotten taste of the American public whose indifference to some TV chat shows leads to their cancellation.

No, Piers feels sick thinking about 26 different things that all boil down to one: the availability of guns in America. (Another piece of avuncular advice, Piers: rephrasing exactly the same thought 26 times is neither grown-up nor clever.)

Like all intellectual vulgarians, he likes to reduce an extremely complex phenomenon to the simple terms even Daily Mirror readers can understand: If only Dylann Storm Roof had been unable to lay his hands on that .45, the truly sickening carnage wouldn’t have happened.

In what passes for Piers’s mind, the tragedy reflects a primitive equation: availability of guns equals gun crime. The reverse of this is another equation: unavailability of guns equals no gun crime. Oh if only things were as simple as that.

For example, take four New England states, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The first two have liberal gun laws, which is why they have some of the highest gun ownership in the USA.

However, in what Piers would probably dismiss as an inexplicable paradox, Vermont and New Hampshire have the lowest rates of gun assaults in the country.

Connecticut’s gun laws are also quite permissive, and the state’s rate of gun assaults is quite high: 22.46 gun assaults per 100,000 population.

Neighbouring Massachusetts, on the other hand, has some of the tightest gun controls in the world. One would expect the statistics of gun assaults there to be much lower than in Connecticut. In fact, at 30.8 per 100,000, they’re a third higher.

Broadening our scan, the incidence of gun crime in Japan, where firearms are tightly regulated, is extremely low. Yet it’s even lower within the Japanese community in California, where guns can be bought easily.

And in Switzerland, where practically every household possesses an assault rifle and, usually, a handgun or two, they don’t even bother to keep gun crime statistics. There is no gun crime.

All this goes to show that, in conditions of even relative liberty, the state can’t cut the supply of a product, be it guns, drugs or prostitutes, for which there exists a popular demand. Assorted psychos and criminals will always get weapons if they want them, as you can find for yourself by having a pint with a pub landlord somewhere is South London and asking him, “I say, you wouldn’t happen to know someone…” 

Getting back to Piers’s adopted land, John Lott in his book More Guns, Less Crime presents an analysis of crime statistics for every US county from 1977 to 2005. His scrutiny of reams of data proves beyond any doubt the truth of his book’s title: the relationship between gun ownership and violent crime isn’t direct but inverse.

Hence blaming guns for gun crime is a factual fallacy, but it’s more than that. In our morbidly politicised world, every piece of data has to have a political dimension, and gun statistics are no exception.

Piers lived in America for a few years, so he had time to cotton on to how the political cookie crumbles there. In America guns are one of the watersheds separating socialists (liberals, in the American misnomer) from conservatives.

As they do in everything else, the lefties rely on sheer demagoguery and fiddling of facts to make their point, and Piers instantly fit in. He knows what a good story is, and he won’t let facts interfere with it.

Never mind that in his own country gun crime almost doubled in the six months following the 1997 bans on firearms. Never mind the mass of incontrovertible data gathered by Lott and other serious researchers. Politics trumps it all.

John Adams once described facts as ‘stubborn things’. The arch-socialist Stalin added an interesting dimension to this adage: “If facts are stubborn things, then so much the worse for facts.”

No doubt the socialist Piers Morgan would agree. Sickening, isn’t he? 






Happy Waterloo Day!

What do you call a chap who explains his actions by saying: “A man like me cares little about the lives of a million men”? (Napoleon to Metternich, 1813)

I call him a monster, to be cursed in eternity and mentioned side by side with other ‘men like him’, such as Lenin, Hitler and Stalin.

The French (with some exceptions, to be fair) call him a hero and venerate the memorials to his grisly deeds.

Well, that hero was taken down a peg 200 years ago, and, unlike Napoleon’s own victories, this anniversary is worth cheering.

The anniversaries widely celebrated in France have been coming thick and fast over the past 10 years: Marengo, Austerlitz, Friedland, Wagram.

There is, however, a fundamental difference between their anniversaries and ours. Theirs celebrate a march of despotism; ours commemorates stopping despotism in its tracks.

Yet Napoleon is still given the benefit of doubt, nay adoration, by assorted groupies, not all of them French. We’ve had our share of those too, from the pop poet Byron to the pop historian Andrew Roberts.

But the French won’t be outdone. Thus Dominique de Villepin, former prime minister: “This defeat shines with the aura of victory”. Moral victory, that is, which is the traditional fall-back position for sore losers.

Much as I admire the French, the ability to lose graciously isn’t their most salient trait. Nous sommes trahis (we was robbed, in colloquial English) is the blanket explanation of all French defeats.

They never lose battles to superior, better-led armies. They only ever lose them to treason – by the enemy, their own generals or, as is claimed specifically in relation to Waterloo, God.

The amazing thing about Nappy’s groupies is that they don’t even realise how ridiculous they sound. This is, for example, how the most febrile of those groupies, Victor Hugo, contrasted Wellington’s soulless performance to Nappy’s inspired leadership.

Wellington’s: “precision, planning, geometry, prudence, a safe line of retreat, well-managed reserves, stubborn calm… nothing left to chance…”

Nappy’s: “intuition, feeling… superhuman instinct, flamboyant vision… prodigious and scornful impetuosity, all the mysteriousness of a profound soul.”

I know which army I’d choose to fight in, even though Hugo’s description of Nappy’s forces sounds as if they were made up of 50,000 St Pauls led by Christ himself.

This last phrase is merely a reiteration of a French blasphemy. Nappy was – in some quarters still is – well-nigh deified. That elevation to divinity became especially pronounced after his defeat at Waterloo.

Doing the rounds in France at the time was a disgusting mockery of the Lord’s prayer: “Our Emperor who art in St Helena// Respected be thy name// Thy will be done// Against the extremists who take away our pensions// Rid us of the accursed Bourbons// Amen.”

In the pagan groupies’ eyes Nappy’s free hand with pensions outweighed the 2,000,000 dead Frenchmen. Methinks their moral scales are badly in need of readjustment.

Nappy’s self-confidence indeed matched Christ’s, but with considerably less justification. If Jesus sacrificed himself for others, Nappy did exactly the opposite throughout his career.

Whenever he felt that military defeat threatened his power, he never hesitated to abandon his bleeding army and rush back to Paris to make sure his own position was secure. Nappy did that in Egypt and in Russia, and by any traditional military codes he ought to have faced tribunal with the firing squad at the other end.

Add to this Nappy’s summary executions of POWs (for example, between 2,000 and 4,000 of them after the siege of Jaffa), another offence worthy of tribunal, and one may wonder how he still enjoys a posthumous reputation as a great man, rather than as a great criminal.

Nor was his purely military judgement always as impeccable as is universally claimed. Attacking Russia knowing that his unprotected supply lines would have to stretch to 1,000 miles was sheer madness, as was Nappy’s failure to provide his soldiers with winter gear.

Another great failure of Nappy’s martial nous was his gross underestimation of opposing leaders, specifically Wellington. Speaking on the eve of Waterloo to his generals, with many of whom Wellington had wiped the Iberian peninsula, Nappy told them there was nothing to fear.

Wellington, he said, was a bad general. The beaten veterans of the Peninsular War must have exchanged glances, thinking “What does it make us?”

In fact, for a bad general, Wellington boasted a remarkable record of never losing a battle in his life. He also knew how to protect his soldiers’ lives by training them to rely more on accurate musketry than frontal bayonet charges so beloved of Nappy.

Wellington trained his infantrymen to deliver three shots a minute, as opposed to an average of two in the French army. That, plus the organisational brilliance and attention to detail so derided by Hugo, gave Wellington an in-built advantage. For example, rather than flying by the seat of his breeches, Wellington had personally reconnoitred the Waterloo battlefield a year before the battle.

Deploying his infantry beyond the crest of a ridge, out of enemy artillery’s reach, as he did at Waterloo, was another tactic pioneered by Wellington. To him, unlike to Nappy, the lives of men did matter.

Napoleon is also venerated as a great statesman, one who gave France her civil code and departmental structure. Both, however, were direct offshoots of the Enlightenment, whose storm trooper Nappy was.

Even if the Napoleonic code were indeed as great an achievement as some claim, mentioning it next to the millions perished in Napoleonic wars brings to mind the naughty American joke: “Yes, but apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”

It’s those moral scales again. But even considered on its own terms, the Napoleonic Code is less than admirable. What it adumbrated wasn’t so much the rule of law as the rule of lawyers, along with legal and economic dirigisme – something from which France is still suffering.

The French feel nostalgic about their country’s greatness, which they mistakenly equate with martial glory. Yet only just wars contribute to a country’s greatness. Those waged by Napoleon are largely responsible for France’s present misfortunes, something the French fail to understand, which is why they ignore today’s anniversary. 

For us, however, there is much to celebrate. But for the victory won by the Wellington-led coalition, despotism would have arrived in Europe a century earlier than it actually did. And – perish the thought! – Trafalgar Square would be called Place de l’Empereur, while Waterloo Station would probably be known as Gare du Sud.














Russian songs of hate

How does the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) differ from Western confessions? You might mention things like filioque or papal supremacy, and that would be God’s own truth. But it wouldn’t be the whole truth.

For the ROC, in the person of Patriarch Alexis II (a career KGB operative, like all the post-war patriarchs), issued in 1997 a blessing to the singer Zhanna Bitchevskaya, thereby making her an official performer of ROC songs.

Unofficially, her patriotic, religious and nationalist oeuvre has deeply endeared her to my friend Vlad, who developed an affection for religious songs, or indeed religion, at the time of his first presidential campaign in 2000.

Until that momentous event, Vlad’s biographies, including the book First Person Singular he had dictated, had never mentioned any inchoate religious feelings, unlike, for example, his affection for German beer. Yet already in 2000 Vlad decided to turn Russia into an eerie amalgam of Third Rome, Third Reich and Third World, for which undertaking a public demonstration of religiosity was de rigueur. 

Incidentally, that campaign was bankrolled by Boris Berezovsky who subsequently fell out with Vlad and hence came to a sticky end in his London exile, proving yet again that Vlad’s enemies can run but they can’t hide.

Bitchevskaya (I wonder how she abbreviates her surname) is still going strong at 71, performing and recording non-stop, a sort of ROC round the clock. She ought to be congratulated for staying on the same wavelength with her church and her state.

Actually the two entities have been one and the same since Peter I’s reforms, which effectively turned the ROC into a department of the state and, usually, an extension of its secret police.

Both before and after that fusion, the Russian state and the ROC have always been united in their pathological hatred of the West. This is a shame, for, unlike the state, the ROC is after all a Christian institution and, as such, ought to preach love, not hate.

The ROC’s record of hatred isn’t automatically attributable to its Byzantine origin, as some commentators suggest. After all, Greek and Coptic churches have the same provenance, and yet they don’t openly preach anti-Western invective.

No, this trait is peculiarly Russian – it’s the leitmotif of the country’s whole history. And you can trust Zhanna ‘Bitch’ to keep her finger not only on her silvery guitar strings but also on the nervous pulse of Russia.

The Russophones among you can confirm this observation courtesy of YouTube. But for the benefit of my linguistically challenged readers, allow me to translate a few bits and pieces from her lyrics (many, incidentally, written by the arch-monk Roman) and writings.

“Russia will be free again, and the world will fall down at her feet!”

“Russia spits on the power of Americas and Europes!”

“May you all [Westerners] croak!”

And then, in a different genre, that of journalism: “When we cross ourselves, we spit on the West thrice. And say, ‘I deny you, Satan’. All filth, all the refuse of the disgusting Antichrist comes from the West. That’s why everything that comes from the West should be expunged from our heads, our homes. Don’t dance to the West’s tune!”

“I do what God has put into my hands, my mouth, my soul. The songs I sing lead people to the church, to God.”

In other words Zhanna ‘Bitch’ is God’s apostle. Hence it stands to reason she should have healing powers: “The head physician of Moscow’s oncological centre once told me, ‘Zhanna, I must tell you something important: some patients in the last, fourth stage of cancer recover having heard the records of your songs by the arch-monk Roman. Not all, but some.’”

It’s then incomrehensible that every Russian cancer patient who can afford it still seeks treatment in the West. They could save themselves a lot of money and trouble by staying in Russia and listening to Zhanna ‘Bitch’ intoning ‘May you all croak!’ at the West. Or watching her clip We are Russians, Russians, Russians where Zhanna’s voiceover accompanies the footage of Russian bombers firing missiles, which is then cut to wide shots of burning American cities.

I do hope the Putin groupies among my Ukip friends will read this. They just may change their view of Vlad, he of staunch faith and nationalism. (‘Nationalism’ is seen as a desirable quality in some quarters – the distinction between that and patriotism is lost.)

Underpinning both his ‘faith’ and nationalism is visceral hatred of everything the West stands for. And the art of Vlad’s favourite performer faithfully imitates the life he fosters in Russia.

Why not just replace the Union Jack with the rainbow?

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond doesn’t seem to agree that being ‘gay’ is something to be proud about. To express this distinctly old-fashioned feeling he has banned British embassies from flying the rainbow flag to mark this year’s ‘gay pride’ parades.

Indeed, one struggles to see how people’s sexuality, perverse or even normal, can be a source of pride. One can more easily see how it can be a source of shame.

For example, my own, boringly conventional, sexuality has led me over a lifetime to do quite a few shameful things – and not a single one of which I can be proud, even though some have made me happy.

As to sexual perversion, taking pride in that is in itself perverse, while expressing such feelings publicly would in any sane society attract the attention of chaps in police uniforms or, perhaps more appropriately, white coats.

Moreover, a lifelong egalitarian like me can’t abide by the unequal treatment afforded to various perversions. If crowds are allowed, nay encouraged, to march in support of ‘gay pride’, any man who gets his jollies from incest, animals, corpses or faeces should feel slighted.

I can hear a strengthening chorus of voices harmonising various polyphonic strains. Where’s my ‘dead’s beautiful’ necrophilia pride march? And what about my ‘Daisy, Daisy, I’m half-crazy’ march for bestiality pride? My ‘eat and enjoy’ coprophilia pride march? Where can I join the ‘come to daddy’ incest pride parade?

It’s terribly unfair, not to say discriminatory, that some perversions can take precedence over others. It’s like those green fanatics picking out just one exhaust gas, carbon dioxide, for their attacks, whereas some others may be as or more damaging. Arbitrary or what?

That embassies representing Her Majesty’s interests abroad should even consider flying the rainbow flag has to be grounds for a wholesale change in personnel. The Union Jack is a symbol of the whole nation, and the only British flag that may on occasion appear next to it is the Royal Standard – not the rag celebrating deviant sexuality or any other particular interests.

Yet not only our embassies but also the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall flew the striped rag last year. William Hague, who had Mr Hammond’s job then, was so keen to broadcast that fact ad orbi et urbi that some warped minds began to suspect a personal interest.

I don’t know about that. A more likely reason for that show of weakness was that Dave was pushing his subversive homomarriage bill through Parliament then, and Hague, who has been a loyal party man since before he knew what ‘sexuality’ meant, must have felt duty-bound to stand by his man Dave.

I’m sure that even Peter Tatchell’s followers realise how utterly ridiculous this whole ‘gay pride’ movement is. It makes no sense – other than political sense, which is of course the whole point.

In common with many historically marginalised groups, politicised homosexuals resent traditional morality and the institutions upholding it. When they are not only politicised but fanatical, they feel the urge to destroy the morality and undermine the institutions.

The rest is simply expressing this animus as political action and massive propaganda. When the propaganda reaches a certain decibel level and breadth, it does what propaganda is supposed to do: override people’s traditional feelings and replace them with a new set.

Yesterday’s deviancy becomes today’s orthodoxy, the voices of isolated fanatics become vox populi, and that’s not the sound any modern, which is to say post-Christian, which is to say spivocratic, government can ignore.  

Mr Hammond has restored a previously lost modicum of sanity to our embassies, but for how long? One already hears a rumble of discontent among our embassy staff in Rome and elsewhere. Before long it’ll segue into a crescendo culminating in a finale that’ll attract Dave’s attention.

If you can give me decent odds, I’m prepared to bet that Dave, now secure in his slender parliamentary majority, will overrule his Foreign Secretary. I’m not sure he’ll go so far as to follow the suggestion in the title of this piece, but I wouldn’t bet against it.

Any takers?









Vlad Putin uses his namesake in the Duma for ICBM-rattling

Since Russia’s parliamentary tradition is neither strong nor of long standing, one would expect the Duma to be rather different from our own Mother of Parliaments.

So it is, to no one’s surprise. However, what is indeed surprising is how different. One critical difference is that the Duma doesn’t legislate; it rubber-stamps.

You see, my friend Vlad is fully committed to the system of one man, one vote, as long as he’s the man. Hence, whenever a serious decision is to be made, Vlad debates it with himself and, overriding his own objections, casts his vote as he sees fit. Since according to official doctrine Vlad is synonymous with Russia, the Duma never votes against the country.  

Yet this isn’t to say it performs no useful function. Quite the contrary: by using parliamentary immunity, it keeps some politicians out of prison; and by using its daises, it keeps some others in the public eye.

Alexei Lugovoy, he of the polonium fame, is one of the many examples of the first category; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Deputy Speaker, by far the most colourful example of the second.

He is also a useful illustration of the difference between Russia’s parliament and ours. For instance, I find it hard to imagine that our own dear Deputy Speaker would ever match Zhirinovsky’s eloquence, as displayed a fortnight ago on Russian TV.

In broad strokes, he called for launching nuclear strikes against the Ukraine and the nearby Nato countries, while blackmailing the more remote ones with nuclear-tipped ICBMs. Here are some choice excerpts:

“I’d talk to Barack Obama and tell him: ‘Barack, you’re playing too complex a game, you’re spending too much money in vain. I’m offering a cheaper solution: I’ll restore all USSR borders except Poland and Finland.’ [Actually, Mr Z got carried away here: ‘restore’ is a wrong word because neither Poland nor Finland was ever part of the USSR. But hey, it’s the thought that counts.]… I’d tell Obama in no uncertain terms: ‘You don’t want to fight with us, you’re scared of nuclear war. Fine, it’s even possible you could hurt us badly. But I’d wipe out half of America. To begin with Washington, there’d be a hole in its place, and no one would find even a living hair in that hole.’ Europe is scared of us anyway, so there’s no point even talking to it… If you [meaning the Ukrainian government] bomb Donbass, we’ll bomb Kiev… We’ll shoot all your governors, starting with Saakashvili [former president of Georgia, recently appointed governor of the Odessa province]. Then they’ll be scared. Then we’ll have a different situation both in Europe and the Ukraine. Because no one would know what would happen tomorrow. Come on, Shoigu [Russia’s defence minister], put our missiles on red alert! Aim them at Berlin, London, Washington!… Then they’ll say: ‘What, tomorrow there will be war? No, don’t, we agree to everything.’ They want to stay alive, see? They’re having fun there, a picnic – they’d never fight.

“One sharp shout from Moscow, and that’s it. Nato would be disbanded in 24 hours because otherwise all Nato capitals would be destroyed. They’d give it a think and say, ‘Fine, we’ll disband Nato to stay alive, to keep having fun…’ The Russian flag must be raised everywhere where the Russian army has ever been [Paris and Berlin spring to mind, not to mention all of Eastern Europe]…”  

You might say this is a madman’s rant, and I might agree or disagree. But it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that Vladimir Zhirinovsky is one of the top politicians in Russia, where he is used to enunciate in hysterical, seemingly deranged words his namesake’s policy.

For the theme of nuclear blackmail keeps popping up in the speeches by Putin’s spokesmen and even the national leader himself. Zhirinovsky just adds a bit of crazy spin, which is a tactic widely used by bullies.

When trying to pre-empt any resistance, they’d feign madness, planting a seed of doubt into the opponent’s mind. He’s unlikely to stick this pencil in my eye, but who knows, he just may be crazy enough…

I for one have no fear of Zhirinovsky. But you know what scares me? That he just may be right about Nato’s likely reaction to the blackmail.



Tim Hunt and St Paul: two bigoted, insensitive MCPs

This conversation took place circa 53 AD. James and Peter, who headed the Jerusalem Christian community, had summoned Paul from his peregrinations to explain to him the facts of life.

James: Saul, there’s trouble in Corinth.

Paul: There’s no Saul here, Jim. The name’s Paul, as you well know.

James: Okay, fine, there’s trouble in Corinth, Paul.

Paul: Too bloody right there is. Every mass is a God-awful shouting match. They all scream, argue, turn the whole thing into a unholy mess. But I’ve sorted them out.

Peter: Yes, well, that’s not the kind of trouble we mean, Paul. The trouble we’re talking about was caused by the way you sorted them out.

Paul: What on earth do you mean?

James: I mean this [picks up a parchment scroll and reads]: “Let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” Did you write this, Paul?

Paul: You bet I did. So what?

Peter: So every Corinthian lass is screaming her head off, calling you an insensitive bigot, a male chauvinist pig and an antediluvian troglodyte. What are you trying to do, mess up the whole show?

Paul: Oh come off it, Pete. I just didn’t want those gals to sputter spittle all over the place. We needed some discipline there, that’s all I said.

James: Well, let me tell you, that’s not how it came out – and it’s certainly not how they took it. We’ve received 153 complaints. Here’s one from Sabina…

Paul: Sabina who?

James: Never mind Sabina who. Just listen: “This bloody bigot thinks he’s the bee’s knees, but I’ve got news for him: this is the 1st century AD, the reign of Emperor Trajan. We, female persons, are equal to any man, including this Saul, Paul or whatever he calls himself. And I don’t just mean equal before God – we’re equal in every way. How dare he tell us to shut up and listen to our husbands? Who the hell does he think he is? We don’t want his kind preaching to us, ever.”

Peter: And this is the most polite letter. Most of them want you whipped and stoned, at least. Are you off your rocker or what?

Paul: But the law saith…

James: Never you mind what the law saith. You are finished, do you hear me? She’s right, this isn’t bloody Athens under bloody Pericles. Female persons in Corinth won’t stand for this kind of talk, and neither shall we!

Paul: But Jim…

Peter: You’re history, Paul. We want your resignation today. Go back to Tarsus, make some tents.

Well, as you’ve probably guessed, I’ve made this up. No such conversation took place in Jerusalem circa 53AD – moreover, it could not have taken place. But a similar exchange did occur at University College London, circa 2015.

At the end of it, Sir Tim Hunt, the Nobel-winning biochemist, was effectively sacked (“hung out to dry”, as he put it) from his job at which he is generally believed to be rather good.

His crime? An offhand light-hearted remark he made in a speech. “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls,” he said, digging a huge hole for himself. “Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry.”

Now you must agree that, on the scale of male chauvinist piggery, this remark doesn’t even come close to 1 Corinthians 14: 34-35. Yet it never occurred to the good women of Corinth to report Paul to the authorities.

Had they done so, it’s a safe bet James and Peter would have dismissed their complaint for the silly, insecure, borderline psychotic rubbish it was. And Paul was dead serious when he wrote his epistle.

Sir Tim wasn’t when he talked about lab girls. He just made an innocent remark that, to anyone with the sense of humour of your average German (shepherd, that is, not a person), would have sounded like exactly what it was: a joke.

Yet in the reign of Emperor Dave a joke like that is a career-ending sacking offence, even if the offender is one of the world’s top scientists. That’s progress for you. Aren’t you happy we’ve advanced so far since the reign of Emperor Trajan?

Ave Dave, morituri te salutant.






Race is no longer racial

Many years ago, I mentioned in conversation that American blacks tended to gravitate towards the left end of the political spectrum.

“They are left-wing because they are black,” explained my interlocutor, an eccentrically dressed and perfectly spoken English gentleman.

“I’m afraid you’ve got it the wrong way around,” I said, sensing an irresistible opening for a good line. “They are black because they are left-wing.”

That joke effectively stopped the conversation, but I was actually half-serious. Race in the USA had long since moved from the domain of biology into that of ideology. North of the Mason-Dixon line at least, American blacks at that time could already choose how black they wished to be, if at all.

Those who chose to be just like their white neighbours could do so without meeting any resistance, least of all from me. I was aware that my black friend Clarence looked different from me, but then so did my friend Greg who was white. It made no difference one way or the other.

If, on the other hand, they chose to build their whole behaviour, thinking and indeed personalities around their race, then they usually had to go the whole hog (unless they joined the Black Muslims who had strong ideas about hogs). Such a commitment almost invariably included left-wing political convictions, however they were manifested.

A black man who accentuated the plastic and phonetic mannerisms normally associated with his race could have been confidently expected to be pro feminism, homosexual marriage, gun control, welfare, free medical care, free everything as a matter of fact, pacifism – the lot.

Those who refused to be stereotyped, choosing instead to accentuate their humanity rather than their race, had unpredictable politics, just like everybody else. They could be left, right or centre, and one didn’t know which it was until one talked to them.

The former group, it has to be said, was bigger than the latter, and it grew much faster. There were all sorts of inducements to encourage that process, from the ready availability of various social benefits to what the Americans call affirmative action (reverse discrimination).

When I arrived in Britain almost 30 years ago, I found a different situation: most black people I met were what ideological blacks in America called ‘Uncle Tom’, and their less numerous British counterparts contemptuously described as ‘Bounty’ (black on the outside, white on the inside). In other words they saw themselves and were seen by others as no different from anybody else.

That situation began to change when the Britons began to import the American subculture of political correctness, as they tend to import most shoddy American goods. Race was beginning to be debiologised and ideologised – just like in America.

This was brilliantly sent-up by the comedian Sacha Baron Cohen who created the character of Ali G, a black rapper wearing the appropriate clobber and speaking the rude-boy slang. In that capacity, he conducted nonsensical interviews with all sorts of worthies who – amazingly – were perfectly willing to accept him as a black.

Apart from his beard and clothes, the comedian made no changes to his appearance, and to anyone with functioning eyesight he looked unmistakably white. Or he would have done had race remained purely biological. Since it had already become an ideological statement, anyone was black if he identified himself as such – just like anyone is a socialist if he says he is.

Still, Ali G was just a comedy act. Mankind still eagerly awaited a serious precedent of a white person claiming negritude for ideological reasons. I know I did, simply because I like my observations to be proved empirically.

That’s why I’m deeply grateful to Rachel Dolezal, the white NAACP leader who for years misrepresented herself as black not only in casual socialising but even in official documents. To keep the white cat in the bag, Rachel even broke up with her offensively white parents, whom she hasn’t seen in years.

When a scandal broke out, my new friend Rachel was defiant in the face of adversity. “I don’t give two s***s what you guys think,” she said. “I still consider myself black.”

Thank you, Rachel, for proving that my bon mot of 30 years ago was a factual statement, rather than just a weak attempt at humour. And down with the local US authorities who are threatening prosecution. Instead they should give Rachel a medal or, better still, the Nobel Prize.

She has disproved the biological nature of race, a fallacy to which both scientists and the public at large have been clinging for millennia. Rachel has also vindicated Darwin, for race undeniably used to be defined strictly in biological terms. That it no longer is vindicates the theory of evolution more decisively than anything else has managed to do it so far.

I’m only sorry she made the experiment slightly impure by dying her fair hair black, frizzing it, and speaking with a phoney black accent, as widely heard in the NAACP good offices. People should be taking her at her word, with no camouflage necessary.

For my part, I can only cheer this trailblazer on. Rachel, you’re my main woman. Right on, sister – the blacker the berry, the sweeter the fruit. Black’s beautiful, baby. 





Stop experiments on humans (such as the EU)

Lest I might be accused of only thinking of Britain, Brexit isn’t my sole hope as far as the EU is concerned. Of course Britain should get out and shake the dust of this abomination off her feet. But then, in the spirit of internationalism, so should everyone else.

European federalism isn’t really unprecedented. It’s but one in a long series of social experiments conducted over the last 250 years.

Social in this context means involving people, and it took a tectonic cultural and philosophical shift for experiments on humans to become not only possible but actually laudable.

This shift is known as the Enlightenment, but in fact its essence was sheer obscurantism: abandoning the correct Judaeo-Christian view of man for any number of bogus notions. None had any truth to it and therefore none could have possibly worked.

Hence they had to be tried one by one, and then ditched for something else, along with the human lives destroyed during the experiment. In the process, man stopped being seen as the highest and ultimate edifice of creation, becoming instead merely material of which some Potemkin-village structure could be built.

Untold misery always resulted, and emerging states were all born like babies, covered in blood. This goes for every modern, post-Enlightenment state, from the USA and France onwards. For instance, no one in history has killed as many Americans as Americans did, and no foreign occupier, not even Nazi Germany, has ever matched Frenchmen in the scale of murdering Frenchmen.

This stands to reason: being fallen and therefore fallible, people inevitably disappoint those who insist that all it takes to eliminate sin is for the state to open paths leading to virtue. Yet people unfailingly fail to deliver, hence the urge to kill them all.

Mass murder is the most graphic illustration to the folly of human experimentation, but it’s not the only one. Social and cultural collapse accompanies such activities almost invariably, and economic decline usually. Time after time people prove that, when they are used as but a building material, the structure thus erected will eventually totter and collapse.

The EU is one such termite-eaten structure. It’s a logical extension of the socialist experiment started by Bismarck and in due course adopted by all Western countries. A modern, which is to say socialist, state has to expand, and even national socialism has to have an international dimension.

For innate to any socialist project is a quest for uniformity, which stands to reason. If people are merely building blocks, they have to be practically identical, for otherwise they won’t fit together. But because uniformity is alien to human nature, the only way to promote homogeneity is for some central authority to ride roughshod over human nature.

Hence centralisation run riot is a universal characteristic of all modern states, and an attempt to expand beyond the geographically limiting national borders has some ineluctable if perverse logic to it.

Such a project has to have dire economic consequences, among others. People’s economic behaviour is naturally individualistic, and the only way to override it with collectivism is for politics and ideology to trump economics.

We all know about the direct and devastating effect the EU has had on southern European economies, those of Spain, Italy, Portugal and especially Greece. Less widely publicised is the economic malfunction in the Franco-German axis around which the EU revolves.

In his book Le suicide français, Eric Zemmour shows, figures in hand, how, following the introduction of the euro, France’s economy has been declining pari passu with the growth of Germany’s.

In common with many journalists, Mr Zemmour is better at citing facts than understanding them properly. Hence he extols the very ideas of the French Enlightenment that in reality adumbrated all the subsequent abortions, including the EU.

Also, being a man of clear National Front leanings (even though he calls himself a Gaullist), he tends to see his own nation’s ordeal more clearly than other countries’. It’s true that France’s economy is in the doldrums thanks to her own socialistic dirigisme and the dead weight of the EU around her neck. But Germany isn’t in clover either.

Welfarism can only be sustained economically when the economy is growing robustly. Yet Germany’s puny average GDP increase of 1.1% places her 156th out of 166 countries, much lower than Britain that mercifully didn’t allow Blair to drag her into the single currency. And Germany’s productivity growth is lower than even Portugal’s.

For reasons touched upon earlier, economic individuality, otherwise known as entrepreneurialism, is being suppressed in Germany, which ranks 111th in the ‘ease of business start-up’ category. The bowels of socialism extrude red tape, and nothing suffocates business activity as terminally.

As a result, over the last 15 years wages in Germany have been steadily falling in real terms, as has been her share of global exports. This last development is more worrying for Germany than it would be for most countries, as Merkel’s government has strategically suppressed domestic demand in favour of an export-driven economy.   

None of this will stop the experiment. Only a massive explosion in the lab can do that, which metaphorical detonation can come in the real shape of war, Weimar-style economic collapse, 1848-style pan-European rioting – the possibilities are endless.

As with any explosion, the farther one is away from the epicentre, the better. Brexit, anyone?

Not all local customs are respectable, Your Honour

Diversity springing from the multi-culture of care, share and be aware is now sitting atop the totem pole of our neo-pagan modernity. We are told to respect all cultures and customs equally because they are all equally respectable.

Though we’ve refined this idea and pushed it to its logical extreme, it’s not new. As far back as the 5th century BC, Herodotus taught that “we must respect other people’s customs.”

Having issued that injunction, about 50 pages later in the same book he mentioned in a different context that: “Burying people alive is a Persian custom.” 

Nowadays suggesting that a certain hierarchy of customs just may exist and is desirable smacks of value judgement – and no values are to be judged on pain of moral ostracism or even, at times, legal prosecution. Who are we to decide that some are better than others?

As a lifelong champion of progress, I welcome this development. By all means, do let’s respect all local customs equally. But what happens when some local customs clash with some others, to the point of being mutually exclusive?

For example, we in Britain have a local custom of rather long standing that can be roughly summed up as one law for all. We may be rich or poor, male or female, black or white, aristo or prole, but that doesn’t matter. The same law applies to us all.

Hence a gentleman who can legally enjoy up to four wives in his native habitat has to limit himself to one in Britain because polygamy is against our law. Ditto the custom of immolating the wife together with her deceased husband. Ditto the custom of castrating women. Ditto… well, you get the gist.

One would assume that this point would be communicated to new arrivals the moment they land on our shores. We respect your local customs, but this is our locality and you must respect ours. One law for all.

Well, before we instruct immigrants in this vein, perhaps we ought to check that our own judges understand this custom properly. High Court Judge Mrs Justice Pauffley clearly doesn’t.

The case before her was that of an Indian chap who routinely beats his wife and 7-year-old son, which contravenes any number of British laws, such as the 2004 Children’s Act.

Now every parent knows that some little children are insufferable. A good smack is a time-honoured method of getting them back in line, and at times it’s the only possible method. Hence we may argue about the merits of the 2004 Act, though, to be fair, it only disallows putting too much pow into a smack, not a smack as such.

But it’s not Mrs Justice Pauffley’s remit to question the quality of laws in a courtroom. It’s to uphold them.

Yet, in spite of the boy’s testimony that his father habitually hit him with ‘a long belt’, Mrs Justice Pauffley saw fit to dismiss the case because: “Proper allowance must be made for what is, almost certainly, a different cultural context.”

Sorry, Your Honour, but during office hours there exists only one cultural context for which you can make allowances: the British law. Leave other cultural contexts to ethnographers, anthropologists and The Guardian.

We already have large parts of Britain where Sharia law holds sway. We really don’t need to show any more respect for ‘cultural contexts’ than we already have, and one wishes we could show a lot less. Instead do let us show some respect for our own customs by convicting all wielders of long belts – and striking off Mrs Justice Pauffley.

Speaking of local customs, the other day a group of typically barbarian European youngsters, including a British public-school girl, indulged their fashionable exhibitionism by photographing themselves naked on top of a sacred Malaysian mountain.

The local tribe then blamed the subsequent earthquake on that sacrilege and arrested the barbarians for ‘upsetting the gods’. Now they are supposed either to pay a fine of ten buffalo or face three months in prison.

Since I doubt the accused can get their hands on ten buffalo quickly, they could be going to the pokey, which I personally think would be a good idea. We may regard that particular local law, and the theology behind it, as a trifle backward, but hey – local customs are to be respected.

Similarly, when members of that Borneo tribe decide to partake of our social services by coming to Britain, one hopes they’ll show similar consideration for our laws, something that Mrs Justice Pauffley has failed to do.









Crazy delusions about Putin

My friend Vlad is tragically misunderstood, and so is the country he leads with so much wisdom and panache. Therefore I’d like to apologise to him for having shamefully found myself among his detractors.

Many a time have I referred to Vlad as a kleptofascist dictator out to restore Russia to the former glory of Stalin’s Soviet Union, thereby making her an even greater threat to the West. That was delusions speaking, which is a clinical symptom of mental disorder.

Thankfully, Vlad brought me back to health by pointing out where I had gone wrong. We have nothing to fear from Russia, he explained.

“Only a sick man can imagine that Russia will attack Nato,” said Vlad. “And then only in his dreams.”

The Yanks are fanning the conflict in the Ukraine, he added, because “the Americans don’t fancy very much a rapprochement between Russia and Europe.” And where’s the Anglo-Saxons’ vaunted sense of fair play?

“When European countries integrate, this is [supposed to be] normal, and when we do the same in the post-Soviet space, they try to explain this as our urge to recreate some empire,” Vlad complained.

Awful injustice, that. Of course committed Russophobes might argue that, while European countries integrate of their own free will, however misguided, Russia promotes the noble cause of reunification with tanks, missiles and field artillery. But then what else can one expect from such Russia-hating vermin?

As to the “unconstitutional coup” in the Ukraine, explained Vlad further, “in the field, so to speak, it was led by either the US ambassador or the CIA station head.”

“We are moving nowhere – it’s Nato’s infrastructure that’s moving towards our borders, including the military infrastructure… We are merely responding to threats.”

Of course, silly me. Russia’s annexation of the Crimea followed by a large-scale assault on the East Ukraine was self-defence against America – just like the Soviet Union’s pre-empting the impending US occupation of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

In other words, we all – emphatically and contritely including myself – have got the situation terribly wrong. Indeed, we have nothing to fear from Russia, whereas Russia has every reason to fear the combined might of Nato, spearheaded in Europe by a rapidly remilitarising Britain.

But I hope Vlad won’t judge us too harshly, considering how we were led astray by certain developments that we woefully misread. Our subsequent overreaction was thus nothing short of emotional disorder.

When Vlad’s TV spokesman Kisiliov talked about the likely possibility of turning America to radioactive dust, only a sleeping madman could have detected a threat in that figure of speech.

When Vlad himself mentioned in passing that, had he encountered any Western resistance to the occupation of the Crimea, he would have been prepared to use nuclear weapons, he didn’t at all mean it the way it sounded. Only a dormant lunatic would be worried.

When Russian nuclear-armed bombers constantly overfly Nato countries, who but a sleepwalking maniac would see that as a factor of danger? Russia has every right to train her pilots, so wake up and smell the plutonium, you Nato warmongers.

When Russia calls up reservists and conducts endless training exercises involving massive concentrations of troops on Nato borders, this is exactly what they are – exercises. It takes a nutter to detect an aggressive intent there, and a slumbering nutter at that.

And when Russia attacks a sovereign country, annexes first one part of her territory, then another, then threatens to grab the lot, only a psychopath would fail to see that it wasn’t Russia who did all that.

It was in fact local rebels protesting against the unconstitutional coup that vexes Vlad so. Vlad, you see, is staunchly devoted to defending constitutions, Russia’s own or anyone else’s. The Yanks should keep that a mind: Vlad may decide to invade, say, Maryland should he detect a threat to that state’s or federal constitution.

Now why did American and European Russophobes provoke the bloodshed in the Ukraine in which Russia has played no part at all? Why did they go to such lengths to cast Russia in the role of international pariah?

Simple. What’s unfolding before our very eyes is a fiendish conspiracy to take the 2018 World Cup away from Russia. Hence the FIFA corruption scandal concocted by the CIA in cahoots with the Ukrainian Judaeo-Nazi Banderites.

This isn’t to say that some money didn’t change hands to strengthen Russia’s just claim to holding this great sporting event. Of course it did. But isn’t that what capitalism is all about, paying for what you get?

Those Russophobes must decide whether or not they want Russia to stay the course of capitalism, democracy – and constitution, let’s not forget that. If they do, then they have no grounds for objecting to a fair market transaction. Unless, of course, they are prepared to prove yet again that they are nothing but sleepwalking madmen.


P.S. Vlad isn’t the only misunderstood politician. My other friend Dave also complains that his promise to sack any minister who doesn’t want Britain to become a province of the EU was “misinterpreted”.

Indeed it was. Dave did say he’d sack “any bastard who doesn’t toe the line”. But the word ‘bastard’ means an illegitimate child. Since no government minister was born ‘on the wrong side of the blanket’, as Dave’s mother would have put it, in effect he was saying he would sack no one. Another tragically misunderstood figure, if you ask me.